Written by Roland Chrisy
When I introduce a new player to Star Wars: Destiny, I always ask who that person’s favorite Star Wars character is. Getting to play your favorite characters is what makes this game exciting, and part of the fun of this game is how thematic it is. In this issue of Sweet Themes, I’d like to talk about theme and how it applies to one of my favorite movies of all time: the Last Jedi (Spoiler Alert: this article contains spoilers for Episode VIII The Last Jedi).
I have been playing a lot with Rey – Finding the Ways lately, and when Luke Skywalker – Reluctant Instructor was spoiled, I Force-flipped when I saw that he is a perfect, 30 point pairing with Rey. The synergy between these two characters is spot on, and while I will most likely look to Aayla Secura – Jedi General and Profitable Connections for my “serious” deck with Luke, I will very much enjoy having a thematic deck that will only be surpassed by a Qui-Gon Jinn – Ataru Master and apprentice Obi-Wan deck.
One of the most frustrating things I find in playing Destiny is rolling out a bunch of damage and having it all get removed. Yes, this is a fundamental aspect of the game, the back and forth of dueling that makes the lightsaber battles in the movies so exciting. However, I’m an agro player and I want to deal my damage and move on. I tried being cute and messing around with control decks, but they just don’t fit my play style at all. The great thing about Luke is his ability to have options when he rolls out, but his shield sides will bypass many damage-removal cards and let me attack attack attack.
And Luke’s shield sides are so thematic for a Jedi Master! One of Yoda’s first teachings to Luke was that a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. And in the Last Jedi, his final confrontation with Kylo is one of defense. He never once touches Kylo or throws him around like the punk nephew he is. If we get a reprint of Force Illusion, I really want it to be a picture of Luke’s illusion on Crait.
Just because he has shield sides, though, doesn’t mean that this Jedi Master can’t dish out damage or help Rey attack. Mono Blue has been known for outlasting its opponent, and Luke is the perfect example of this. There is a lot of shield-hate in cards like Frighten, Vibroknife, and Intimidate, but against agro decks shields are a great answer.
Of all the thematic elements on Luke’s card, however, his power action is the coolest. In the movie, Luke doesn’t teach Rey much, but he shows her how to connect with the Force and “make things float.” He has developed his own philosophy on how the Jedi should interact with the Force, but simply explaining what the Force is helps Rey to understand how to use its power. Luke received barely more training with Obi-Wan and Yoda in the original trilogy, but he learned how to pass on his knowledge, and his power action portrays that brilliantly.
With this character selection, Rey’s Lightsaber is an auto-include. What I like about it is, even though Rey is the last Jedi to wield it before it was split in two (though it could be repaired by Episode 9), Luke owned it before her, and Anakin before him. So in addition to being a really good 3 cost weapon with redeploy, it is a significant weapon that connects three generations of stories and will not just be thrown over Luke’s shoulder when you equip it to him.
For your viewing pleasure, I created a deck list that can be played with a proxy for Luke and Luke’s Lightning Rod (which is a formidable weapon in the hands of Luke and also serves our thematic purposes).
Characters (30 points, 4 dice):
eLuke Skywalker – Reluctant Instructor
eRey – Finding the Ways
Supports (2 cards):
It Binds All Things x2
While Force Illusion isn’t necessarily a good target for Luke’s power action, Fearless and Makashi Training are made for it. I love the idea that Fearless and Makashi Training can have two uses in a single turn, first by equipping them to Luke and then having them passed on to Rey, especially since Fearless will grant Rey a shield before she activates to proc her ability. Guard and Close Quarters Assault are a little harder to resolve because Luke’s dice are only resolved as melee damage and don’t count for the events’ conditions, but with all the lightsabers in the deck they should still see some good use. Return of the Jedi is more than a thematic choice. It’s target will be Synchronicity, a card that has saved my Taun Taun on more than one occasion for its ability to bypass shields, and damage from hand like Riposte and Synchronicity can close out games when your opponent thinks they are safe.
As is, this deck looks really tanky and can do some really neat combos your opponent won’t see coming if they aren’t familiar with all of Blue’s tricks. And that is before we see what new toys Way of the Force will bring us. My last Sweet Themes issue was more of a fun deck that won’t be tournament legal, but this deck looks like it could have some serious potential in the current meta. And though it is not a mill deck, if the game takes you in that direction, cards like Close Quarters Assault can give you that alternate win condition, especially if you opponent spends a lot of cards rerolling. 23 health without shields is a ton of life to chew through, and the more I think about this deck, the more I can’t wait to get Master Skywalker.
Luke and Rey did not get to fight side by side in the Last Jedi, but with Destiny you get to imagine what such a battle would look like. Theme enhances this game in so many ways, even when the picture of Luke only has four fingers on his mechanical hand (try not seeing that from now on!).
That’s all I have for now! Enjoy some proxy Luke before Way of the Force releases, because sweet rolls are made of these.